Rounds 4 Research completed its first full year on a national scale with two highly successful auctions that raised nearly $150,000 for turfgrass research. The first auction in June featured more than 600 rounds of golf and raised $107,000, while a second auction of 300 rounds in August grossed an additional $39,000.
Rounds 4 Research is a fundraising program with the goal of generating resources to support agronomic and environmental research for golf courses. It is in response to previous funding sources, both public and private, being eliminated. The program is administered by the Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG), the philanthropic organization of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).
“We envisioned that Rounds 4 Research could be a nationwide program to address the shortage of funds available for turfgrass research, which is so critical to the future of golf,” GCSAA President Patrick R. Finlen, CGCS, said. “So to see such a tremendous response from both our fundraising partners and those who have purchased rounds this year, has confirmed that Rounds 4 Research is filling a vital niche in our industry.”
Accessible through the highly popular online auction site Bidding for Good, the 2013 auctions featured rounds from coast to coast as well as special travel and sporting event opportunities. In 2012, a series of four smaller auctions raised almost $30,000.
Rounds 4 Research allows GCSAA chapters and turfgrass foundations to participate as fundraising partners with the vast majority of proceeds going back to those organizations. In this way, these organizations can direct the proceeds to specific projects that will have the most significant impact in their local areas.
Rounds 4 Research currently has 50 fundraising partners across the country.
Participating chapters saw a high return in the ratio of value of funds raised to the value of donated items. Bidding for Good advises that a 40 to 45 percent ratio of total bid to total value is realistic for items on its online auctions. Many GCSAA chapters saw ratios of more than 50 percent, and the highest ones neared 70 percent of value.
Auctions are being planned for 2014 with the dates to be announced soon, and Rounds 4 Research is already accepting donations for those upcoming auctions.